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No injuries after electric heater sparks downtown apartment fire

Local firefighters haul out furniture following an apartment fire at the corner of Princess Avenue and 15th Street around 11 p.m. on Saturday.

GRAEME BRUCE/BRANDON SUN Enlarge Image

Local firefighters haul out furniture following an apartment fire at the corner of Princess Avenue and 15th Street around 11 p.m. on Saturday.

No one was injured and two cats were saved after a downtown apartment went up in flames on Saturday night.

Jason Packham carries away items on Sunday from a 15th Street apartment gutted by a fire late Saturday night. Packham and other neighbours in the block helped extinguish the blaze.

Enlarge Image

Jason Packham carries away items on Sunday from a 15th Street apartment gutted by a fire late Saturday night. Packham and other neighbours in the block helped extinguish the blaze. (COLIN CORNEAU/BRANDON SUN)

According to the Brandon Police Service, a heater plugged in below a window caught fire and blew out the window above it.

Ten members of Brandon Fire and Emergency Services as well as police and ambulances responded to the fire just before 11 p.m. Saturday at a four-unit apartment complex at the corner of Princess Avenue and 15th Street.

Neighbours said they threw pots of water and snow through the blown-out front window of the apartment to combat the flames, which reached the height of the ceiling.

Officials said no one was in the single-bedroom apartment at the time of the fire, which was located in the front kitchen and living room area and localized to the one suite.

The large flames were extinguished by the time emergency crews arrived on scene, neighbours said, but several firefighters were seen hauling out charred furniture from the apartment and soaking the items for well over an hour after.

"There was a bit of panic," said one neighbour who helped pass water down to the blaze, "but I got my cool back and was like, OK, I gotta help out here."

The tenant’s sister, Kathleen Richards, was helping her mom clean out what was left of the items in the suite on Sunday morning.

A flat screen television, a sofa and recently purchased living room tables were some of the bigger items destroyed by the fire.

The two cats saved were taken to the pound Saturday night, which was Richards’ first stop on Sunday.

"We picked them up this morning and he wasn’t here, so the things that really mattered are good," she said as she was picking through what was left of the charred remains inside the small apartment.

"Usually he’d be in, so I was thankful he was out, because he would have been in the bedroom, likely asleep at that point and he wouldn’t have been able to get out."

Richards said her brother had lived there for six years and said the tenant is currently staying with his mother, who recently moved to Brandon.

He didn’t have tenants insurance, according to Richards.

The three other tenants in the building were allowed back into their home after crews left after 12 a.m. Sunday.

The fire department couldn’t immediately report the value of the items lost.

» gbruce@brandonsun.com

» Twitter: @grjbruce

Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition April 7, 2014

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No one was injured and two cats were saved after a downtown apartment went up in flames on Saturday night.

According to the Brandon Police Service, a heater plugged in below a window caught fire and blew out the window above it.

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No one was injured and two cats were saved after a downtown apartment went up in flames on Saturday night.

According to the Brandon Police Service, a heater plugged in below a window caught fire and blew out the window above it.

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